As part of proposed harmonisation of European food law the European Commission released directive (2003) 424. This related to proposed regulation of Nutrition and Health Claims Made on Foods. Alimentarius were approached by the sports nutrition company Maximuscle to review the directive and provide feedback. As a founder member of the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance (ESSNA) Maximuscle requested that the report specifically addressed the potential impact for its own business, the sports supplement industry in general and consumers. Alimentarius identified two areas of particular concern for ESSNA members, which fell under Article 11 (Prohibited Health Claims) and Article 12 (Generally accepted claims). The feedback from Alimentarius was used to help overturn the Article 11 proposal to prohibit products from carrying claims relating to weight and fat loss. Our feedback relating to article 12 helped to ensure flexibility in health claim wording on pack and in advertising. This meant manufacturers of sports supplements could communicate the benefits of their products effectively, while consumers could easily identify products with the benefits and characteristics they were looking for.
A major European supplement brand ran a high profile advertising campaign in the mainstream press. This focused on promoting the company and its newly extended supplement range. As the company had a long established relationship with an advertising agency they used them to prepare some of the adverts with the majority being prepared by Alimentarius. Both set of adverts made a range of marketing claims some of which were challenged by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). Unlike Alimentarius, the advertising agency did not have evidence to support the claims in their marketing. This resulted in these adverts being pulled, an adjudication against our client by the ASA, and resulting in damage to the brand and consumer confidence.
A major European supplement brand ran a high profile advertising campaign in the mainstream press. This focused on promoting the company and its newly extended supplement range. As the company had a long established relationship with an advertising agency they used them to prepare adverts for several specialist magazines. Unfortunately the adverts did not generate significant sales as the advertising agency failed to capture consumer interest and then translate this into sales. The supplement brand then approached Alimentarius to prepare a range of adverts to promote both the brand and its products. Alimentarius has longstanding experience in specialist nutrition markets and selected the health claims with the greatest consume appeal for our clients specialist market. These adverts prepared by Alimentarius had significant consumer appeal and resulted in immediate increases in sales which was sustained by repeat purchases. The advertising we developed also helped enhance the quality of the brand with consumers, making it easier to successfully launch new products.
A major US based supplement manufacturer wanted to sell its premium fat loss product in Holland and Barrett stores. With more than 600 shops this is the UK biggest specialist health food retailer, who also own GNC stores. Many fat loss supplements are often marketed using false or misleading advertising claims. To help protect consumers Holland & Barrett assess the scientific evidence to support each products marketing claims and efficacy. Alimentarius prepared the health claim substantiation dossier to support the claims used on our clients product. This carried specific weight management claims related to weight loss, fat loss and fat burning. After review by Holland & Barrett our clients product successfully obtained a retail listing in their stores.
A major UK online supplement retailer was under increasing commercial pressure from competitors and wanted to maintain both sales and brand profile. Their product range included vitamins, minerals, protein powders, energy supplements and botanicals. They approached a nutrition consultancy firm to assess the possibility of using health claims to help promote their products, but were advised ‘this was not possible’. The company then approached Alimentarius and after careful evaluation of the companies’ products it was clear that the most of their product range could in fact carry health claims. We provided our clients with a selection of consumer friendly claims for their products. These were incorporated onto product packaging, iinto company catalogues, magazine advertising, point of sale material and website and resulted in significant sales increases. Despite the absence of health claims on some products these also showed an up-lift in sales. This was partially caused by the ‘halo’ effect of products with health claims and the perceived improvement in brand quality. The sales increases were used to consolidate our clients position in the UK market and provided a platform to increase sales within the EU.
A US based supplement manufacturer wanted to sell its premium fat loss supplement in the high street retailer Boots. This is the most popular chemist in the UK and in addition to prescriptions they sell a range of health and beauty products, which include fat loss supplements. The use of false and misleading advertising claims on health and beauty products is common, particularly for fat loss supplements. Boots are unusual as prior to obtaining a retail listing their experts assess the evidence to support each products marketing claims. Boots internal experts also take steps to asses the efficacy of the weight management products stocked. Alimentarius prepared the dossier of scientific evidence to support the marketing claims on our clients fat loss supplement. The dossier Alimentarius prepared included support claims for weight management, fat loss and fat burning. After review by Boots’s expert team our clients product successfully obtained a retail listing in their stores.
An EU based functional food company wanted to extend the promotion of its’ product range to include commercial TV. The products carried several marketing claims which required final approval by Clearcast, the organization that ensures compliance with UK Code for Broadcast Advertising (BCAP code). Alimentarius were asked to provide Clearcast with a scientific dossier to supported each products marketing claims. The dossiers were submitted to Clearcast and all the claims were approved without removal, modification, or the need to supply additional data. The time and cost saving for our client was significant, allowing the whole process from the initial approach to Alimentarius to Clearcast approval to be completed in less than a month. This allowed the TV advertising to optimally compliment pre-planned in-store product launches and drive sales success.
A major European functional food company wanted to support the launch of its’ new women’s weight management range with a TV marketing campaign. The proposed advertisements made a number of health claims relating to and including fat loss, which provided an important point of difference from existing products in this sector. Our clients claims were evaluated by Clearcast, the organization that ensures compliance with UK Code for Broadcast Advertising (BCAP code). Clearcast asked our clients to provide supporting evidence for all the claims they wished to use for marketing the products, who in turn asked Alimentarius to provide substantiation. We prepared a scientific dossiers for Clearcast to demonstrate that our clients products could provide the claimed health benefits; which included claims for ‘weight management’, ‘toning’ and ‘fat loss’. The dossier was evaluated by their experts and Clearcast approved fat loss claims, toning claims and weight management claims. These were successfully used to market our clients range of weight management products on TV and the internet.
A major UK sports nutrition brand had tried unsuccessfully to demonstrate Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) compliance for its’ flagship muscle building products. This meant that health claims with significant consumer appeal had to be removed from the brands advertisements in the mainstream press. The company approached Alimentarius to provide CAP compliant marketing claims for its’ core muscle building range. The health claims related to ‘increased mass’, ‘increased muscle size’, ‘increased muscle strength’ and ‘increased muscle power’. Alimentarius provided scientific substantiation for all these claims, with accompanying CAP compliant copy. These were used extensively on pack, in catalogues, in magazine advertising, the company website, in internet marketing and in TV ads. The unique claims and copy provided by Alimentarius had significant customer appeal, elevating our clients products above its’ competitors. The resulting increase in sales helped establish the reputation of the company and its’ products, making it one of the biggest sports nutrition brands in Europe.
A major functional food brand wished to increase the marketing claims on an existing weight management product. They approached Alimentarius to get an opinion on additional claims that could be used on the product. After reviewing the proprietary data on the product Alimentarius prepared a detailed scientific dossier for the company and submitted it to the UKs’ Committee for Advertising Practice (CAP) for evaluation. They agreed the data provided by Alimentarius adequately supported a variety of claims relating to weight control, including the headline claim ‘increases fat burning’ which CAP considered this a breakthrough claim. The utilisation of the new claims on pack and in marketing increased consume appeal and translated to a dramatic increase in product sales. The claim substantiation dossier prepared by Alimentarius was used by our client to obtain product listings with major high street retailers including Boots.